Watch How Smode Tech Helps LABLAB Speed Up Virtual Production and Imaging

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Smode Tech announced a partnership with LABLAB that uses SMODE software to streamline its experimental video and audio workflows.

A self-described “digital experimentation factory” (fabrique numérique d’expérimentation), LABLAB offers a fully-equipped research and creation space for audiovisual, immersive and interactive experiences. Located in Pôle PIXEL, the creative cluster home to some of the city’s most forward-thinking businesses, LABLAB fosters exchanges between creators working in film, videogaming and the digital arts. The city of Lyon (France) is home to some of the country’s most exciting art events, including the Festival of Lights, the Nuits Sonores, and the Lumière cinema festival.

Jonathan Richer, creative director of creative studio Théoriz and video technical director for LABLAB, says the versatility and responsiveness offered by SMODE, and its compatibility with a wide range of third-party integrations, were the main reasons for his company’s adoption of the SMODE platform.

“We decided to migrate to a new platform as we were looking for better performance and flexibility to host artistic residencies,” says Richer, who explains that LABLAB has welcomed more than a dozen external creative teams, including theatre companies, dance troupes, film companies and digital artists, with diverse AV needs to its campus over the past year, all of whom benefited from the SMODE compositing platform. “SMODE eats up far less performance than [the previous solution], especially in ‘ON AIR’ mode. It is also faster to start up and gives us overall gains on our PC. We can now host artistic teams without spending four hours on just the video element. This is especially true for live inputs, which we can redirect more easily into our pixel space.”

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In addition to the performance gains, Richer highlights SMODE’s easy-to-use UI and integration with VIOSO as key elements to LABLAB’s migration to the SMODE-based system. “As soon as you need to manage streams, it’s much simpler,” he explains. “And the ability to import an external mapping calibration file – in our case VIOSO, with whom we also have a partnership – is extremely important.”

The powerful SMODE real-time compositing and media server solution also supports audio-reactive content, with every parameter able to be linked to an audio channel. At LABLAB, SMODE is primarily used with the hub’s immersive sound system, supporting the dance projects, immersive theatre shows and audio-focused interactive installations that are the laboratory’s bread and butter.

Richer is full of praise for the “versatility of the [SMODE] software, which allows different creative and technical approaches” for LABLAB’s myriad clients. “The flexibility of the software, and its open source philosophy in terms of integration, is unparallelled,” he says. “It’s great for us to be able to rely on a solution that doesn’t seem to have any technical limitations.”

He also hails the support offered by the Smode Tech team, who, he says, are always on hand to offer assistance. “Working with SMODE is a great experience – you never get stuck using it,” Richer concludes. “But when you do have questions, the team are always there. We are very happy with their support and how much smoother our process for hosting projects has become with SMODE.”

Here’s a video of the band KUNTA performing at LABLAB’s studio: